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Christian Meditation Podcast


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Sep 10, 2017

 

Intro: 

I find it an important distinction to separate the ideas of shame and humbly admitting our sin before God. Take a moment and reflect on the purpose God has in this scripture. Why does Jesus tell this story? Not only why does he tell it, but why does he want us to acknowledge our sinful nature? How is this feeling different from shame?

Is it possible to reject shame while still embracing humility before God?

In my work, it seems that people who experience shame fatigue often misinterpret messages like this, then go on to see God as a being who desires us to feel immense shame.  I would argue that shame is the adversary's counterfeit for a grieved conscience.

Outline: Relaxation, Reading, Meditation, Prayer, Contemplation, Visualization

I invite you to get comfortable for 20 minutes, without driving or doing chores, but focusing exclusively on the message God has for you. If you feel safe to do so, close your eyes. The goal of this relaxation is to remove distractions to allow us to focus on God’s word.

Guided Relaxation / Guided Meditation:

I have found that it is easiest to relax not by blocking out all of your senses but by being allowing them to just be as you prepare your heart for a fast from the attention of the world. Listen to the sounds around you. Listen to the soothing sounds of the sea as the waves gently churn. As you become more aware of this moment you allow it to fade gently. You notice your breathing gently expanding. Air slowly fills your stomach as you breathe all the way from your diaphragm. Imagine your stomach is a large balloon filling with air. Gently breathe in with me as I count. For five seconds breath in. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Then pause. Breath out, 2, 3, 4, 5. Continue breathing slowly. As you breathe slowly you feel your muscles relax and unflex. With each passing breath, you relax more and more prepared to receive a message from the Bible, from God directly. As I read through this scripture keep your heart, mind, and ears open to God’s message to you.

Bible verse for meditation:

Luke 18:10-14 KJV

10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Luke 18:10-14 NIV

10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.

12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Meditation on scripture / bible verse meditation:

What stood out in this scripture?

Who do you identify with in this scripture?

What can you learn from this scripture?

I find it an important distinction to separate the ideas of shame and humbly admitting our sin before God. Take a moment and reflect on the purpose God has in this scripture. Why does Jesus tell this story? Not only why does he tell it, but why does he want us to acknowledge our sinful nature? How is this feeling different from shame?

Is it possible to reject shame while still embracing humility before God?

In my work, it seems that people who experience shame fatigue often misinterpret messages like this, then go on to see God as a being who desires us to feel immense shame.  I would argue that shame is the adversary's counterfeit for a grieved conscience.

Open yourself up to the idea that your sin is egregious yet at the same time, through the infinite Love of God, He knows exactly how to handle that.

I firmly feel that as we learn to engage in our guilt in a healthy way, that our artificial and inflated shame will decrease in most situations. Let God extend his great mercy to you. If you would like a deeper reflection on this, see episode 9 that discusses Isaiah 53. With His stripes, we are healed. Also refer back to the last episode about how we can stop deceiving ourselves.

Continue breathing deeply as you acknowledge your sin before God. Allow his love to penetrate your sin. Make your heart ready for him to replace your stony heart with a heart of flesh.

Meditation of Prayer:

Pray as directed by the Spirit.

I invite you to ask God for forgiveness and then trust Him. I invite you to pray for his loving spirit to wash away your shame.

Meditation of God and His Glory / Hesychasm:

Imagine sitting in the love of God as it pours over you as you are real about your sin.

Meditate and Visualize Positive Change in Your Life:

I want to share something with you that I hope you don’t find too morbid. In my work in hospice, I talk to people who, many times, know that they are about to die. They begin to reflect that their life and it finally sets in that this life is short. I consider it a blessing to have spent so much time in this place. For better of for worse, this is the only life that you will have. This is the life that is teaching you what you really need to learn. A major part of that message is learning how to be reliant on God. As you realize that it is only through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that we can overcome this world, you begin to truly connect with a new and eternal hope. Imagine that, with God’s mercy, you can change this life that you have. With the Spirit of, God you have EVERYTHING you need to change and become the best version of yourself. Visualize how this message can play out in YOUR life.

Conclusion:

Thanks for joining me.

I release a new episode every Sunday morning at 1AM Mountain time in the US.

You can help someone feel the peace you experienced here by sharing this podcast with those you care about. You can get more information about my podcast by visiting my website ChristianMeditationPodcast.com. You can also send me a message through the site. I would love to hear what your experience is with my podcast.

As you learn to acknowledge both your own sin and God’s mercy you will find greater meaning in life and find the contentment Paul referred to (see episode 1 of this podcast).

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